Our Team

Matthew
Byam Shaw
Director

Matthew Byam Shaw

Director

Matthew’s comprehensive theatrical career began as an actor at RADA. He performed for ten years before turning to producing after discovering Charlotte Jones’s In Flame and since then has produced numerous times directly into the West End and Broadway. He has partnered with many notable theatres including the Almeida Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Court Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Bush Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre which has resulted in many successful transfers to the West End and Broadway. In 2010, alongside Nia and Nick, Matthew set up Playful Productions where he leads the development team in finding, commissioning and building new work to produce. The team works to build lasting relationships with writers, directors and actors at the peak of their careers, as well as discovering and supporting emerging talent. Matthew is a Trustee of the Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres and a member of the RADA Council. He was a producer of the Oscar nominated Universal/Working Title film Frost/Nixon and is an Executive Producer of the Netflix series The Crown, now in its third season, based on Peter Morgan’s The Audience.

Nia Janis
Director

Nia Janis

Director

Passionate about theatre since childhood, Nia’s early career included producing on the fringe in London and Edinburgh, as well as working as a Production Manager at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and in the technical department of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Nia spent a number of happy years working across both the management and artistic departments at the Royal Court and is still committed to developing new work for the stage. Nia joined Matthew and Nick at Act Productions as General Manager, working on productions such as Wicked, Frost/Nixon, Edward Scissorhands, Spring Awakening and Don Carlos, until 2010 when the three of them formed Playful Productions. Since then Nia has overseen all productions produced and/or general managed by Playful including Wicked, Kinky Boots, Shrek, Groundhog Day, American Buffalo and The Audience. Nia heads up Playful’s exceptional in-house production team and oversees all employment issues across Playful’s shows. She is committed to nurturing talent as well as striving to improve working practices across the industry. She currently serves on the boards of the Society of London Theatre, the Bush Theatre, Paines Plough, the League of Independent Producers and the Stage One Council.

Nick Salmon
Director

Nick Salmon

Director

Although Nick’s interest in theatre dates back to his school days, he learned the West End business during his time as a theatrical agent. He also worked on several films including The Go Between and The Railway Children, before returning to theatre. During his career he has managed and produced for HM Tennent, Churchill Theatre Bromley and Theatre of Comedy at the Shaftesbury Theatre, as well as producing in his own right in the West End and on tour – over eighty productions in total. Whilst at Act Productions, he programmed their nine West End theatres and set up their production company, which he ran as Executive Producer until launching Playful Productions with Matthew and Nia. For over twenty years he was Chief Executive of Stage One, a registered charity supporting new UK theatre producers. He has served on several theatre boards including the Board of The Society of London Theatre of which he was president for three years.

Emilie Baines
Production
Co-ordinator

Emilie Baines

Production Co-ordinator

Emilie started as an intern in 2011 before joining Playful full time and has assisted across both Wicked London, which she now looks after, and the Wicked UK and Ireland tour. She previously worked for Pippa Ailion Casting and Jorg Betts Associates after studying Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Roger Chapman
Associate

Roger Chapman

Associate

Roger is a founding Associate of Playful and has worked with Matthew, Nia and Nick for the past 15 years. He is an independent producer both in the West End and on tour, currently engaged in a world tour of Under Milk Wood, and is the European representative of the BAM Theatres New York.

Jesse Clift
Assistant Production
Accountant

Jesse Clift

Assistant Production Accountant

Jesse joined Playful as Accounts Assistant in 2014 after studying Accountancy and Finance at the University of Huddersfield. She works across all productions supporting the finance department in various roles and is currently studying towards her professional accountancy qualification with ACCA.

Nick Dore
Production
Accountant

Nick Dore

Production Accountant

Nick joined Playful in 2017 as the Production Accountant. Nick previously worked as an in house management accountant for the premature and sick baby charity, Bliss, where he trained for his professional accountancy qualification with ACCA. Nick also volunteers as the Treasurer for the amateur dramatics society Centre Stage London.

Liz Gentry
Head of
Finance

Liz Gentry

Head of Finance

Liz is a founding member of Playful, having worked at Act Productions for just six months prior to that. Ably assisted by the rest of the finance team, Liz manages the finances for all the shows Playful produces and general manages, as well as the company’s finances.

Daisy Gladstone
Production
Co-ordinator

Daisy Gladstone

Production Co-ordinator

Daisy has most recently been Production Co-ordinator for Imperium and The Moderate Soprano. Since joining Playful in 2016, she has been a Production Assistant for The Goat, Groundhog DayHangmen and Dirty Dancing. Before joining Playful she worked as an Assistant Stage Manager for companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Katherine Glyde
Office Manager & Production Assistant

Katherine Glyde

Office Manager & Production Assistant

Katherine joined Playful in 2016 and has assisted on No Man’s Land, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill and Quiz. She also manages the Playful office and social media accounts. Katherine has previously worked for The Corner Shop PR, Sonia Friedman Productions and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Aimee Hall
General
Manager

Aimee Hall

General Manager

Since joining Playful in 2011, Aimee’s projects have included Million Dollar QuartetShrek The Musical, Dirty Dancing both on tour and at the Piccadilly Theatre, the development and subsequent production of Groundhog Day at The Old Vic, and Don Juan in Soho. Current projects include Come From Away at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Phoenix Theatre, London. Prior to Playful, Aimee worked for Ambassador Theatre Group at the New Wimbledon Theatre and for Warwick Arts Centre.

Katy Keggie
Production
Assistant

Katy Keggie

Production Assistant

Katy joined Playful Productions in 2018 as Production Assistant for Wicked London. She previously worked for David Ian Productions looking after the UK Tours of Grease and Evita in South Africa. Katy’s background is in Stage Management where she spent over 10 years working on productions all over the world. Katy has a degree in Stage Management and Technical Theatre from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

Jack Lea
Production & Development Assistant

Jack Lea

Production & Development Assistant

Since joining Playful in 2016, Jack has worked on Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryAn American in Paris and The Moderate Soprano. He currently works on Come From Away as well as the development of future projects. He previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and, prior to that, gained a Master’s degree in Creative Producing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Courtney Lewis
Production
Assistant

Courtney Lewis

Production Assistant

Courtney joined Playful in 2016 and is currently Production Assistant on the UK & Ireland tour of Kinky Boots. Previously, she has worked on Dirty Dancing UK & Ireland Tour,  Shrek the Musical UK & Ireland Tour, An American in Paris and Imperium for Playful. Courtney has a first class BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and Performance from the University of Leeds.

Janet Powell
Senior General Manager

Janet Powell

Senior General Manager

A founder member of Playful, Janet has worked with Matthew, Nia and Nick since 2006, having previously been General Manager for producer Jenny King. For Playful, she has managed productions such as Quiz, No Man’s Land, Blithe Spirit, The King’s Speech and Flare Path.  Janet oversees legal, investment and employment matters across every show and is a Director of UK Theatre. She has a PhD in Ancient History and is a Research Associate at the Institute of Classical Studies.

Amy Powell Yeates
Development
Producer

Amy Powell Yeates

Development Producer

Amy has worked in development and management since joining Playful in 2012. Projects include The Goat, One Love, Hangmen, American BuffaloThe Audience and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. She has a focus on the company’s development slate and producing new projects. Previously she worked at the Barbican, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Donmar Warehouse. She was Associate Producer of My Mum’s a Twat at the Royal Court and is a member of the 2019 George Devine Award Panel.

Annie
Pritchard-Gordon
Executive
Co-ordinator

Annie Pritchard-Gordon

Executive Co-ordinator

Since joining Playful in 2010 Annie has worked on projects that include The AudienceThe Weir, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, Hay Fever and South Downs/The Browning Version. As Executive Co-ordinator Annie is assistant to Matthew, Nia and Nick and manages investment across the productions. Prior to Playful she worked as an Assistant Costume Supervisor after gaining a degree from Central Saint Martins in Theatre Design.

Elliott Shore
Accounts
Assistant

Elliott Shore

Accounts Assistant

Elliott joined Playful in July 2018 after graduating from the University of Portsmouth with a BA in Accounting with Finance. As Accounts Assistant he works across all productions supporting the finance department in various roles and is currently studying for his ACCA qualification.

Imogen Sutherland
Production
Intern

Imogen Sutherland

Production Intern

Imogen joined Playful as Production Intern in October 2019. Prior to working at Playful, Imogen completed a three month production internship at the Arcola Theatre. Imogen has recently graduated with an MA in Performance Making from  Goldsmiths College, University of London. During her degree she production managed the MA final degree show,  an accumulation of eleven theatre companies and their work.

Lucy Verrall
Finance
Assistant

Lucy Verrall

Finance Assistant

Lucy started at Playful in August 2019 as Finance Assistant. She is studying Accounting with Finance at the University of Portsmouth and is currently on her placement year. She is passionate about learning more about the West End and works across all our productions supporting the finance department in various roles including royalties, purchase ledgers, invoices and payrolls.

Beth Watling
General
Manager

Beth Watling

General Manager

Beth joined Playful in 2017 after 8 years as Producer at the National Youth Theatre, managing productions across the UK, the West End and internationally. Prior to NYT Beth has produced work at Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre. For Playful, Beth has managed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the Zurich, UK & Ireland tour of Wicked and is the company’s Tour Booker.

Georgia Weaser
Production
Co-ordinator

Georgia Weaser

Production Co-ordinator

Since joining Playful in 2015, Georgia has worked on the UK and Ireland tour of Dirty Dancing and the West End productions of Kinky Boots and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Prior to Playful, she worked at Ambassador Theatre Group, Borkowski Arts & Ents and the New Victoria Theatre after studying at Liverpool University.

Kate Young
Production Associate

Kate Young

Production Associate

Kate joined Playful in February 2015 to work on Wicked and now looks after Kinky Boots. Previously, Kate was Production Co-ordinator at Old Vic Productions (now Greene Light Stage), working in the West End on The Pajama GameGood People and Private Lives. Prior to that, Kate worked as Assistant General Manager at The Old Vic Theatre Company and as Associate Producer at Opera Holland Park.

Yozi

Yozi

Playful Dog

Yozi began her career as an apprentice truffle hunter in rural Spain, but in her heart she knew she wanted to work in theatre, and when an opportunity came up at Playful she jumped at the chance (and was told to get down). She can smell a hit a mile away and literally eats, sleeps and wees theatre. A Shakespeare fan, her favourite plays are The Lurcher of Venice and A Winter’s Tail. In her spare time she likes to chase balls.

Mia

Mia

Playful Dog

Passionate about theatre since she was a puppy, Mia recently swapped chasing squirrels in Suffolk for chasing hits in the West End. Partial to a musical she is thrilled to be joining the development team here at Playful to write her own; she can sniff out a hit - Kinky Paws, The Phantom of the Dog-pra and Les Mia-erable are particular favourites, however, she was devastated to learn that someone else got to Mamma Mia! first.